Medicare Changes Coming For Oklahoma Senior Citizens
By Ashli Sims, The News on 6
TULSA, OK -- Life Senior Services is explaining how the new health care law could affect Oklahoma senior's citizens.
"I tell groups that I speak with that it's this huge animal. It's hard to wrap your arms around it sometime. It's so much information," said Senior Health Insurance Coordinator Cindy Loftin.
Many fear reform will mean massive cuts for Medicare providers and that will trickle down to patients.
But Loftin points out that the reform addresses an issue that's devastating for many seniors, the prescription drug donut hole.
"That has been a real problem for Medicare beneficiaries. And so we're looking at that hole being closed because of healthcare reform," Loftin said.
The new law gives Medicare patients a one-time check of $250, when they hit the doughnut hole or when Medicare "stops" helping cover the cost of prescription drugs.
And it starts closing that hole until it's gone in 2020.
Loftin says the new law also emphasizes preventive care. That means free yearly wellness exams starting next year and patients won't have to pay out of pocket for things like screenings for diabetes.
Some can see the up side of reform, but they're concerned about the price tag.
"On one hand, I'm glad to be getting into it. Because it gives me some freedom in terms of what I can do now that I'm 65. But I also have grave concerns for particularly my grandkids because they're the ones who are going to be paying the bill on this," said Medicare recipient Dan Gollahon.
Life Senior Services hosts these information sessions on Medicare once a month.
The next one is May 12th.